...or so, I like to think it did. Somehow they found me. About a month ago, NY State snail mailed me a summons to appear in court for jury duty selection. Cue the eye-roll and shit response - despite the fact that I don't have a NY driver's license and that I'm still registered to vote in NC, they felt that seven years in the city makes me a New Yorker. Yes, I guess that's a bit true.
So on Monday, I made the trek down to Centre Street, not sure what to really expect. The DMV, hospitals and courthouses have a funny way of bringing all types together. All creatures great and small. You have the bankers in their suit and ties, the mothers excited for a few hours away from the kids, the emigrants who can barely speak the English language, the almost homeless looking folks, the actor types and the women who wear makeup with their perfect hair with their LuLuLemon attire and stare down at their smartphones planning their next ladies who lunch gathering. Then there are those like me - the young professionals - excited have a few days off of work in order to catch up on a few episodes of Girls and Breaking Bad.
On the first day, we were cattle called into a giant courtroom. As they announced the names of jurors, each one walked reluctantly to the stand for the interview process. I crossed my fingers as each name was read that wasn't mine. And then they called me. Crap. Juror number 11.
The interview process was a lot longer than I thought it would be. We were grilled about our careers, our partners, our neighborhoods, our relationships with lawyers and cops and whether we had been a victim of crime. Now here is where it gets crazy. I would say that 75% of the jurors indicated they had been robbed in the city (either at gunpoint, knife or by breaking and entering). You can only imagine my poker face (or lack thereof) at the sound of these stories. Naive me has never once felt unsafe or has been privy to anything even remotely close to some of these jurors. Then there was the guy who told us his sister-in-law was murdered by a hit-man paid for by her own husband. WTF? People. Are. Crazy. I was also intrigued by the jobs of some of these folks. There was the Italian shoe designer, the NYT writer, the Barney's buyer, the Southern guy whose father has a boat in Oriental NC, the lawyer, the college football coach, etc. On the first day, I was not selected to be a juror. I was quite surprised because my story was not nearly as exciting as those who went before me.
The jury selection for the day two trial of the Sopranos-like men (guess I had preconceived notions about them, so it's a good thing I wasn't picked) was a bit longer. I wasn't called for jury questioning the first round. Therefore, I was pretty sure I was going to be picked the second and maybe even selected to be a juror. The judge informed us that the trial would likely go until the end of next week. Long time. Okay. I needed to get strategic here in my responses.
The one question that was different in day two's interview process was "what do you do in your spare time?" What do I do in my spare time? Well, I noticed that NYT reporter did not get selected when she noted she was a writer. So, when the judge asked me what I did in my spare time, I quickly responded, "Well, I blog." Most everyone else said "I drink wine, I read." I glanced over and saw the lawyers taking notes.
After each jury member finished answering, the assistant DA jumped up and his first follow up question was directed at me.
DA: Ma'am, you said you blog, is that right?
Me: Yes sir.
DA: What do you blog about?
Me: My life. Anything and everything. The good - the bad. My kitchen chairs, my commute, my dog, you know, what I do on a day to day basis. As boring or as exciting as it is.
Me: Thanks! (big smile)